Sarum in Scotland

Some interesting information on my Sarum e-mail list:

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Of the Salisbury Liturgy used in Scotland, by Thomas Innes

“The Bishops all inclined to his crown,
Both temporall and the religion.
The Romane books that then were in Scotland
He gart them bear to Scoon, where they them fand,
And but redeem, they burnt them all each ane
Salisbury Use our clerks then hath tane.”

-Acts of Sir William Wallace, b. xi. c. 7.

“At your desire I have sought out some of my musty papers to endeavour to give you some satisfaction upon this passage of Wallace’s Book.

“It imports, in short, that King Edward I., among other ravages, caused burn the books of our Church Liturgies, and substitute to them the usages of Salisbury or Sarum.

“The same thing in substance is advanced by Hector Boece, in his History, (fol. 298) and more distinctly by his translator, Bellenden; and in all appearance, both of them took the story from Blind Harry, author of Wallace’s Book, who lived about forty years before Boece wrote his History.

“But whencesoever they had this tale, it is absolutely false that King Edward I. was the author of introducing the usages of Sarum into Scotland, or that they were brought in by violence. The contrary is easily demonstrated; to wit, that these usages wcrc brought into Scotland long before King Edward’s time, and that they were brought in and settled by our own Bishops proprio motu, or at the earnest request of their Canons and Chapters.

“This is evident as to the Church of Glasgow, the only cathedral of Scotland whereof many of the old records escaped the Knoxian flames. For Herbert, Bishop of Glasgow, who was consecrated Bishop A.D. 1147 and died A.D. 1164, first settled the usages of Sarum in his Church; and this settlement, with the other old privileges of Glasgow (such as, the free election of their Bishops by Dean and Chapter) was confirmed by a bull of Pope Alexander III. A.D. 1172, whereof we have still the original signed by that Pope and the Cardinals. And if you were curious, you might probably find it as yet in that Pope’s register at Rome, dated 8 Kalend. April. pontificatus a° 14°.

“These usages of Sarum were afterwards, together with the other privileges and liberties of Glasgow, often confirmed by the rescripts or bulls of Popes, concessions of Bishops, decrees of the Chapter, and grants of our Kings, particularly of King James IV. who was himself honorary Canon of Glasgow, as the Kings of France are of S. Martin of Tours.

“For a proof of that, I send you here a short note of what concerns this subject, taken from an exact copy which my brother caused make many years ago of the remains of the records of Glasgow, which our second founder James Bethune, the last Catholic Archbishop, saved and brought over with him hither.

“An original letter of the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury to the Dean and Chapter of Glasgow, written at their earnest desire, containing an account of the liberties and privileges of Salisbury, dated A.D. 1259.

“Original Charter of William, Bishop of Glasgow, A.D. 1258, containing a grant of the liberties and usages of Sarum, to the Chapter of Glasgow.

“Statute of the Chapter of Glasgow, confirming this grant, A.D. 1258.

“A bull or rescript of Pope [Gregory] X. confirming the usages of Sarum to Glasgow, A.D. 1274.

“Another rescript of this Pope to the same purpose. A.D. 1275.

“Statute of Glasgow Chapter sub juramento to same purpose. A.D. 1325.

“Bull of Pope Alexander VI. 1493 to same intent.

“Original letters of King James IV. to the Chapter of Glasgow, confirming their old usages, A.D. 1491.

“As to the Church of S. Andrews, I have seen an old MS. Missal entire, belonging to my Lord Arbuthnot, containing the ordinary service of that Church, entirely conformable to the usages of Sarum. What time they were first received in it, the loss of the ancient records of that metropolitan Church leaves us in the dark.

“In the Cathedral Chapter of Murray, in the statutes contained in the ancient chartulary (in Biblioth. Jurid. Edinb.) of that Church. It was decreed A.D. 1242 by Bishop, Dean and Chapter, `Ut in divinis officiis, in psallendo, legendo, et cantando, ac aliis ad divina spectantibus, servetur ordo qui in ecclesia Salisbyrgensi esse noscitur institutus.’

“The ancient lives of the Bishops of Dunkeld (in Biblioth. Jurid. Edinb.) confirm the same as to Dunkeld. For, giving account of the life and actions of Bishop Galfrid, who died A.D. 1249, they say of him, `Novam fecit erectionem ad instar Ecclesiae Sarum.’

“You see this was long before King Edward I.’s invasion.

“We have here an entire copy of the Breviary of Aberdeen, in two volumes in 18mo. It was printed at Edinburgh by the care of good Bishop Elphinston, who founded the University of Aberdeen. The date of the printing is curious, and honourable to Scotland, in these words; `Kalend. Februar. a Christo nato, anno nono supra millesimum et quingentesimum : imperii Jacobi Quarti Scotorum regis illustrissimi duobus supra annis viginti.’ This is the most ancient printed book in Scotland, and the only one I have seen of the kind printed in our country. It appears that our churchmen, to save the expense of printing, made use generally of liturgical books, either MS. or printed in France or England; but all of them `secundum usum Sarum,’ adding only to the Kalendar the names of our local saints in write. Of which kind we have two Missals in our library ; one of which, given me by Bishop Gordon, had belonged to Mr James Gordon, the last Chancellor of the Church of Murray, and in that quality the last Catholic pastor of S. Peter of Inerawin, which was the parish where I served in Scotland three years.

“In a word, all the Scots Missals or Breviaries I ever saw (and I believe I have seen most of them that escaped our Reformers’ burning zeal) are all `Secundum usum Sarum;’ and so, without doubt, these usages continued among us till the Knoxian reformation.

“The same usages were followed by most of the Churches in England; even by that of Canterbury; but the Church of York had proper usages of its own, of which I have seen some parts; but our countrymen took care to borrow nothing from York, lest the aspiring prelates of that see might take advantage from it to strengthen their claim over our Church; which, upon a thorough examination I made formerly of that pretension, I found to be groundless.”

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Well, same interest, without having much luck finding anything much which is of use available electronically. I know that Arbuthnott is more than just a missal – it was part of a set of books, including a breviary as well. They are all listed in the Catalogue of Scottish Liturgical Manuscripts by Mgr David McRoberts which just gone to a second edition in the Innes Review journal. The ordinariate is now up and running in Scotland but it is just the one refugee Episcopalian vicar from Inverness who has taken umbrage over women’s ordination. He is at re-education boot camp in London but seemingly running two centres, so there is unlikely to be much performing activity if he is 400 miles away. The outfit is run from England with one of the old Anglican ‘flying bishops’ in charge now that he has flown off to Rome: chances are that Scottish Sarum is not his main focus. Dr G.M. Hair has just published some discussion, Latin text and a score for Glasgow’s patron saint, based on local Sarum breviaries. It came out less formally as a CD at first. Pfaff’s new book has quite a lot on two English manuscripts (BL) which spent short periods of their lives at Durham’s Scottish cell and another part at Durham’s house at Oxford (which developed into Trinity, Newman snapdragon and all that). The stuff from the calendar is in Wormwald’s edition for HBS.

The British Library has set up a site which reproduces a small number of British manuscripts. It just so happens that the Arbuthnott missal was included as the BL’s token Scottish text, because it is in a Library in Paisley – near Glasgow’s international airport. Text was edited by Bishop A.P. Forbes, the first Tractarian to become a bishop anywhere in the UK – Queen Victoria could only block appointments in England. The text is late and its main value seems to be that it is rare because Scottish. To judge from the BL website the artwork is pretty crude – to the point of being almost childish. Mgr McRoberts had some issue with its theology: says the Mass of the Holy Name has elements of superstition but that is as far as the note goes by way of explanation.

So there is some activity but I am having no real luck finding people who are active electronically or have put stuff up on the web. I grew up in Scotland but rather lost touch after university in England: the modern Episcopal church is tiny (any the one chap who toddled off to the ordinariate will have made it that bit more tiny still). The Roman Catholics are much bigger but Sarum is not exactly high on their agenda. Mgr McRoberts ran a college for them. It was new in the 1960s but it is now completely defunct: looks like a world record time for transition from new build to bare ruined choir. It was it seems a brilliant bit of modern work by brilliant architects but it is a ruin now – albeit a ruin with a Grade A listing from the Historic Monuments department. The only liturgical activity seems to have been just the one mass at the 500 birthday bash for King’s, Aberdeen, in 2000 by the Roman-Catholic bishop. Mgr Conti was using Sarum, because the early-sixteenth-century Scottish rite, Aberdeen, has a breviary but no missal surviving (if one ever existed). The bishop has been translated to Glasgow where he must be very near retirement. He has never followed up that one Sarum performance, perhaps because he has no time for the oddballs (the locals would say ‘heidbangers’) who are in vehement agitation for a Tridentine revival and have probably given Sarum a bad name. Anyway Mgr Conti’s performance has not been repeated.

So, some scholarship, hardly any performance and just three things, two BL and one Paisley, up on the internet. If you or anyone can take things further do flag it up. I have written some things up but am a complete outsider in this field and would welcome any pointers to things I have missed. If any bright spark knows where any free copies of that “Innes Review” article might be posted, I’d be grateful.

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2 Responses to Sarum in Scotland

  1. John U K says:

    I have Epistolare in Usum Ecclesiæ Cathedralis Aberdoniensis (Edinburgh 1924) being a transcriptio of the ms. Aberdeen Epistolary of 1527, now in the University Library. Besides the Epistles, it contains the Kalendar and four other documents. The Introduction indicates that it may have been part of the reforms of the liturgy begun by Bishop Elphinstone which produced the revised breviary of 1509-10 whuch has survived.

    The Kalendar, although based on Sarum, replaces certain Sarum saints with Scottish ones, adjusting the rank of others, and itself adjusts the reformed Sarum Kalendar found in the Breviary.

    Kind regards,
    John U.K.

  2. Jane Stevenson says:

    I have done some work on the Breviary of Aberdeen and the issue of liturgical nationalism: this is out in the most recent Transactions of the Edinburgh Bibliographical Society, but if you don’t have access do get in touch because I could send you the essay (though not for posting on the Web)

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